Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Episode 122: Space — the final business frontier

Jul 16, 2019

Latest Episodes

Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy

A political swag season like no other

Reema Khrais Aug 10, 2016
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Campaign buttons supporting US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are displayed before a rally.
TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP/Getty Images

Ted Jackson runs an unofficial online Trump store stocked with shirts and hats with phrases like “Let’s Make America Great Again” (he added the ‘Let’s’ to avoid legal problems).

From the start, sales of Trump merchandise were strong, Jackson said. During the primaries, Trump outsold the other Republican candidates, 20 to one.

But everything that happened before the national conventions, “compared to what happens post-convention — to say is night and day is not even adequate,” Jackson noted.

Just how much have sales shot up during the past few weeks?

“Tenfold,” he said. 

So far, Trump’s official campaign swag has been pretty standard: t-shirts, hats and yard signs. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton got volunteer help from some big-name fashion designers like Marc Jacobs and Tory Burch.

But there hasn’t been anything as iconic as the red, white and blue Hope poster that helped define Obama’s run, said Marlene Morris Towns, a teaching professor of marketing at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.  

“And I don’t know that there is enough passion out there for either candidate that those kinds of things are going to repeat themselves,” she said.

Well, there’s definitely passion, but of a different kind. Trump and Clinton are easily among the most disliked presidential candidates in history.

“And the case I think that each candidate effectively is making is ‘Well, if you hate the opponent so much, help me defeat that person. So, spend a little bit of money,’” said Bruce Newman, a marketing professor at DePaul University.

That negativity is driving Amy Doughty’s business. The nurse from St. Louis has made and sold thousands of campaign-related buttons and shirts on her site. The meaner the message, the more she makes.

“Nice ones don’t sell,” she said.

Much of her Trump merchandise goes after his hair and politics, while the Clinton swag typically features degrading, sexist language.

“I hate to be like that. I’m really not a mean person,” Doughty said. “I’m supporting her. I’m voting for her.”

But, she added “I don’t love her. That’s not who I would’ve picked.”

CafePress, a big online retailer, said its swag sales are up 20 percent over the last presidential election. One reason why? Brisk business in a new category: merchandise that says ‘anybody, but these two.’ 

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.